Heavy Vehicle Simulator

The Heavy Vehicle Simulator enables pavement researchers to evaluate new pavement materials, such as warm-mix asphalt or new pavement designs in months or weeks, rather than years.

Heavy Vehicle Simulator

The Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) is an accelerated, full-scale loading facility that accelerates pavement failure by simulating many years of traffic loading in a few months. This allows an agency to quickly evaluate new materials, pavement designs, and construction techniques. The output from the HVS can be used to develop and improve material modeling, allowing for improvements in design and maintenance strategies. The HVS is a proven technology, in constant development over the last 35 years. With over 21 units functioning worldwide, a large and scientifically valuable knowledge base developed by the HVS users is shared with other HVS users through the HVS International Alliance (HVSIA). Additionally, CSIR South Africa contains a significant database along with expertise, which it provides in association with Dynatest.

HVS Brochure US HVS Brochure 



Key engineering benefits

  • The HVS is a mobile device, enabling it to test at different locations, testing real sites at full scale

  • Testing on construction site allows testing of local conditions and subgrade material

  • Extendable beam option gives larger testing area and higher test speeds

  • 10,000 passes unidirectional and 20,000 passes bi-directional per 24 hours

  • Automatic/programmable wander over a width of 0.9m (35.4 inches)

  • Testing speed up to 12.8 km/h (8mph)

  • The HVS Mark VI is capable of applying wheel loads to 200 kN (45 kips)

  • The larger HVS Mark VI-A is capable of simulating aircraft wheel loads of up to 440 kN (100 kips)

What is Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT)?

Accelerated pavement testing (APT) is a method of evaluating the performance and durability of pavement materials in a few months instead of a few years. APT involves subjecting pavement sections to controlled loading and environmental conditions that simulate the wear and tear that would occur over many years of use. By accelerating under these conditions, researchers can evaluate the pavement’s response to various types of loads and environmental stresses in a compressed time frame. The heavy vehicle simulators apply loads and stresses to pavement sections, simulating the impact of thousands or millions of vehicles passing over them. Data is collected on various pavement performance measures such as rutting, cracking, and surface roughness. Researchers can then analyze this data to determine the pavement’s long-term performance under various conditions, including heavy traffic loads, extreme temperatures, and moisture exposure.

APT is commonly used in pavement research and development, allowing researchers to evaluate new pavement materials and designs, and to optimize pavement maintenance and rehabilitation strategies. It can also be used to assess the performance of existing pavements, to identify potential problems before they become severe, and to develop strategies for extending the life of pavements.

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